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Research Assistantship: Barriers to using fixed-route transit for older adults

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  • Dayana Salazar
    Greetings, Social Work Professor Michael Peck is looking for graduate urban planning students to help with focus groups, data management and analysis and the
    Message 1 of 1 , May 19, 2005
      Social Work Professor Michael Peck is looking for graduate urban planning students to help with focus groups, data management and analysis and the preparation of the final report of his research project on barriers to using fixed-route transit for older adults.   Hours can begin in June.


      Please contact me before the end of the semester (May 24) if you are interested in working with Professor Peck in this highly topical project.


      Dayana Salazar

      (408) 924-5854


      Below is an abstract:


      Principle Investigator:  Michael D. Peck, PhD, MA, MSW, Assistant Professor, College of Social Work, SJSU


      Co-Investigator:  Daniel B. Hess, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University at Buffalo, SUNY


      Project Title: Barriers to Using Fixed-Route Transit for Older Adults




      The mobility provided by transportation is critical to overall well-being in life. For older adults, unmet transportation needs are linked to reduced well-being. Although public transit is available for many older adults, actual and perceived barriers prohibit its use. The primary research question for this proposed study is what do older persons perceive as barriers to using fixed-route public transit? The specific aims of this proposed research are to assess older adults� perceptions of (1) safety on public transit, (2) safety traveling from home to public transit stops and stations, (3) the ease of using public transit facilities and vehicles, (4) the ease of traveling from home to public transit stops and stations, and (5) the availability and accessibility of public transit information. The proposed research also will assess (6) the factors that inform older adults� decisions to use public transit.


      The proposed study will be completed in two phases; comparable and simultaneous processes will occur in Buffalo, NY, and San Jos�, CA. In the first phase, we will facilitate focus groups of older adults. In the focus groups, we will assess participants� perceptions about public transit and perceived barriers to utilization of public transit, including those related to safety and accessibility. In the second phase of the study, a survey instrument will be developed and mailed to a larger sample of older adults.  Survey measurement items will be to gather data about perceived barriers to utilizing fixed-route public transit.


      The proposed research will enhance public transit utilization for older adults by identifying perceived and actual barriers and presenting public transit policy and design solutions to meet the needs of older adults, including those that will promote safe, comfortable and efficient public transit.  Research results will (1) advance understandings of older adults� perceptions about public transit, (2) identify short-term interventions to make to traditional fixed-route transit to make riding buses and trains more convenient and accessible to older adults, and (3) provide insight and direction for long-term planning for universally accessible public transit.

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